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In 2011, the Packers drafted offensive tackle Derek Sherrod in the first round. In 2012, the Packers drafted outside linebacker Nick Perry in the first round. In 2013, the Packers drafted Datone Jones in the first round.
Right now, the Packers have not seen a lot of production from these three players. The biggest reason is due to injuries.
Sherrod suffered a gruesome injury late in his rookie season in 2011.
No. 78 broke his right leg in two places and needed to have two procedures to repair the injury. He missed all of the 2012 season, and though he was featured in seven games in 2013, most of that playing time was spent blocking for extra points and field goals.
Overall, Sherrod has played in 12 games in three years with the Packers with zero starts.
Perry started out slow his rookie season, as he was learning to become an outside linebacker in the NFL, after mostly playing "elephant" defensive end at USC. But with the tutelage of outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene, Perry started to look more comfortable as a rookie.
But knee and wrist injuries derailed his progress and No. 53 ended up with 18 tackles and two sacks before going on injured reserve after just six games. In 2013, Perry looked much better early in the season, when a foot injury hurt his progress in his second season.
The injury cost Perry five games, and he ended up with 28 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles.
Jones looked like he would make a major impact for the Packers during the OTAs and the minicamp prior to training camp. No. 95 looked quick and agile and was causing havoc in the trenches. The same held true early in training camp before a sprained ankle in the first preseason game really affected his play.
Jones ended up with just 10 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He also saw his playing time in the defensive line rotation decrease, not increase, at the end of the season.
The bottom line is that Sherrod, Perry and Jones all will have ample opportunity to prove their worth in 2014 for the Packers.
Sherrod is as healthy as he has been since his injury, and he will be given every chance to become the player that the Packers thought he was coming out of Mississippi State as an offensive tackle.
Perry just has to stay healthy. That, plus the fact the the Packers plan to utilize Perry at the "elephant" defensive end position at times this season, bodes well for the former Trojan. The Packers also have a lot of depth at the outside linebacker position, which will also keep players like Perry fresh.
Jones expects to have a major role on the team's defensive line rotation. He has the ability to be a very effective 3-4 defensive end. Ability is one thing. Being productive is another.
Time will tell what will happen with Sherrod, Perry and Jones in 2014, but all will be given a shot to prove their doubters wrong.